Sunday, December 9, 2012

There's (Not) A Trope For That - Week of December 9th

After a week of watching, by pure coincidence, several movies involving trains, I had to ask -- is there a trope for instances where characters have to hop from one train car to another, usually while the train is moving?

See: the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where Indy climbs aboard a train and leaps from car to car in order to escape with the Cross of Coronado. He manages to get through, or over, the rhino car, the lion car, the reptile car (snakes!) and a "magic car" caboose, before eventually exiting the train entirely.

Then there's the climax of Back to the Future III. First, Marty and Doc must ride up to the caboose on horseback, climb aboard, then make their way over multiple cars to the locomotive, where they can force the conductor to stop the train. A short while later, Clara comes along on horseback. She doesn't have as far to go, as Marty and Doc have only "train-napped" the locomotive and the tender car, but the trek is still tough for her, and she nearly gets blasted off once or twice.

Characters also travel along the roof of the train in The Polar Express.

And I'm sure I've seen it in Westerns.

But why, may I ask, is there not a trope for this?

For hopping over and across automobiles, there's Hood Hopping. Over buildings, its known as Roof Hopping. But fails me on the train car hopping thing.

Sure, there's Traintop Battle, which implies, well, a battle... and I suppose the scene in Last Crusade could fall under that canopy, because Indy was being chased, and did have to sort of fight off his enemies.

Sort of getting closer, there's Outside Ride, which talks about riding on top of a train, which I suppose all the characters above technically do, but the trope doesn't seem to mention jumping from car to car.


After months and months of bringing you tropes, I finally get to say it.

There's NOT a trope for that.

But there should be.

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